Books on Wheels needs Sidmouth organiser

Desperate need for co-ordinator to organise book deliveries to elderly and infirm

A VOLUNTARY service is in desperate need of a new organiser to plan rounds for its Sidmouth Books on Wheels operation.

The local WRVS (Women’s Royal Voluntary Service) successfully runs Books on Wheels across towns in East Devon, delivering books to the elderly and disabled who are unable to make regular trips to the library.

At Sidmouth, Pam Mayall, branch manager for Devon, has 12 volunteers to take books into people’s homes, but says: “We desperately need someone to organise the rounds.”

The WRVS, which also operates Meals on Wheels, concentrates its efforts on helping people in the community, said Pam, who is based in Honiton.

She said: “Books on Wheels is a social service as well. Some people don’t have human contact from one week to the next.”

Volunteers, such as Ann Boone, pictured at Sidmouth Library, also take large print books, tapes and CDs to anyone requesting this service and get to know what people enjoy reading. Over time they build up friendships with those they deliver books to.

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“The County Council realised they couldn’t run this service and we didn’t want it to disappear,” said Pam. “We want to increase it if possible, we have a good client basis with an area of elderly people and I am sure there are people out there who need the service.”

The job of the organiser would be to take calls from potential clients, meet them in their homes with volunteers and organise rounds.

“It is not onerous and there is very little paperwork and they would liaise with library staff,” said Pam.

She has organised an event at Sidmouth Library with Gill Spence, librarian in charge, for 2.30pm on Tuesday, September 7, to meet current volunteers and attract people who might be interested in joining the team.

“Volunteers just need the service to run properly and draw it together. We desperately want to get someone in place to get the whole thing together.

“What we feel we would then want to do is expand the service to villages,” said Pam, who can be contacted on (01404) 871397 for further information on Books on Wheels.